Gluten Free Gidget
So, I don't know about you, but I have this sense of urgency to try to get my fill of fun in the sun activities before the summer draws to a close. Last Saturday, John and I decided to check out Fire Island, which neither of us had ever been to before. We drove to Robert Moses State Park and then took the 30 minute ferry to the section of the island called Ocean Beach. There are no cars allowed on the island and you can walk the width of the island in about ten minutes. Cute little shops, restaurants and little beach cottages abound along golf cart size streets. Very quaint! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, mostly sunbathing, and plan on going back to explore the different sections of the island. It really made for a quick getaway that actually made you feel like you had a mini beach vacation somewhere!
Packing for the beach inspired me to write about beach food. I thought we could all share our favorite get-out-of-town foods. Here are some of my favorites when it comes to quick and easy gluten-free beach food.
First and foremost you'll need plenty to drink. Why drink corn-syrup, artificial sweeteners or food coloring when you can make your own iced tea that is not only delicious, but jam-packed with antioxidants? I know this sounds simple, but I just realized I could make this in my sunny apartment window sill. Make your sun tea in an empty plastic liter bottle and then freeze it.*
My favorites are:
*sweeten with agave nectar to taste before freezing.
If it's going to be blazing hot, fill the plastic bottle almost full and freeze. This will provide the perfect amount of slowly melting ice cold drink all day and double as an extra ice pack for your food. If it's moderatly hot then only fill it halfway and freeze. Then reserve the rest in the refrigerator in order to add it upon departing.
An easy option for food is to take sliced deli turkey (Thumann's and Boar's Head are gluten-free) in a small tote cooler and eat it with rice crackers. Or, I'll have Moondoggie stop off at Sahadi's in Brooklyn the day before to pick up soom baba ghanouj and hummus to use as dip with crackers and or/baby carrots.
If I'm not rushed I like to make millet tabouli. I prefer millet tabouli to quinoa tabouli. The taste of tomatoes, mint and parsley all make tabouli so summery, healthy and refreshing. My friend Ivy, who has syrian bloodlines, has a great tabouli recipe. I just substitute the bulgar wheat (or should I say "vulgar" wheat?) with millet.
Smurf Sisters Tabouli
2 c. cooked and chilled millet grain
2 bunches parsley hand chopped (Ivy feels that a food processor chops it too fine.)
1 cup of fresh mint finely hand chopped
1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
2 tomatoes seeded and diced
1 bunch of green onions chopped
Toss the above ingredients.
Dose with the fresh juice of two lemons or add to taste.
Drizzle with 2 to 3 TBSP. of olive oil
Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Serve in cored out tomatoes for edible bowls if desired.
For treats I just throw in some Lara Bars (my favorite flavors are lemon and cherry), fresh fruit and some dark chocolates.
What foods do you like to take on your summer excursions?
If you are heading to a beach in Long Island, NY one of the easiest options is to go to Cornucopia Natural Foods store in Sayville. There is a local beach and also the conveniently located Sayville Ferry that can take you to...guess where? Fire Island!
Cornucopia Natural Foods
39 N. Main Street
Sayville, NY 631.589.9579
Not only does Cornucopia have quite a large selection of gluten-free groceries, but they also have a sit down deli section with pre-made gluten-free foods. Their salads are always a hit at the gluten-free vendor fairs. They have special selections every day along with the regular daily items of:
3 varieties of seasonal vegetables
Quinoa Salad with cranberries, almonds, etc.
Brown Rice Salad with a Meditteranean flavor
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Garden Tuna Salad
At least one dairy-free/gluten-free chicken dish, such as Artichoke Chicken or Balsamic Chicken
Wild Salmon with spicy ginger marinade
So, it couldn't be easier, just throw your ice pack in your travel cooler, make a stop at Cornucopia and you are ready for some Beach Blanket Bingo!
gluten-free freezer section